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Classical is Classic

Classical is Classic

When folks my age think of classical music, a common image arises: old and boring. Well, I beg to differ. Contrary to what my generation may think, classical music is not just for tenured Ivy League professors in smoking jackets poring over leather-bound tomes. Anyone and everyone can appreciate the intricacies of the genre and the rich history that accompanies it. It is, after all, the root of all Western music we enjoy today.

Fear not: I’m not going to bore you with a history lesson in Baroque musical philosophy or what distinguishes a fugue from a canon, but I do challenge you to experience for yourself the beauty of Bach, Chopin, Ravel, and Wagner. If, for no other reason — do it for your health! Listening to these dudes doing their thing is a proven way to calm your head and reduce hypertension.

So while classical music (more formally referred to by snobs as “Western Art Music,” a term that reflects its ancient Greek-Roman origin) may seem inaccessible to many, here are but a few examples that the not-so-versed can appreciate, including yours truly:

  1. Sex: Everyone likes sex. Check that — everyone loves sex. French composer Ravel’s famed “Boléro” is an 18 minute masterpiece with an, ahem, titillating climax. The beautiful, sexalicious Bo Derek of Ten made this composition a love-making anthem; if your man can last till the 17th minute, even Joseph-Maurice Ravel himself would be impressed. In sum: real men listen to classical.
  2. Drugs: Betcha never knew composers loved their poppies…Hector Berlioz, a noted French Romantic composer, wrote his most famous work, “Symphonie Fantastique” while under the influence of opium. In fact, the piece is meant to channel various phases of his psychedelic high — it’s a trip.
  3. Rock ‘n’ roll: The biggest rockers in the world can appreciate Bach and Beethoven, so why can’t younger folks? Radiohead lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood decompresses before a show with Chopin. Furthermore, you can’t go a day without hearing classical-laced hip hop songs on the radio — think Kanye, Lil’ Wayne, and Nas. Mozart can get down — he was also arguably the world’s earliest and most notorious rock star, finagling with multiple women — many married — swigging booze, and frequenting sleazy soirees all over Europe.

So the next time you scoff at the sound of a violin and flick to Fergie, think again. Classical music is beautiful and badass.

Posted by Liza